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Saturday, November 21, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Nov 1, 2009 8:34 AM PST

This essay is dedicated to Albert Einstein, who taught us that many things we have regarded as absolute are in reality relative. It is a shame that he rejected the idea of quantum fluctuations as determinants of our perceived reality. When we do, the unified field theory may be just a step away.

As Congress prepares legislation purporting to provide affordable, “near-universal” medical insurance through an unsustainable taxpayer bailout of the medical insurance industry, it is getting hard to tell whose side anyone is on without a scorecard. It is important to know the players, if we are going to manage the game, as is our right as American citizens. The time for getting into the game is short, so we must count on the relative slowing of the passage of time as the single payer movement gains velocity and momentum. We must move ever closer to the boundary of light speed, but as Einstein proved, approaching the speed of light requires the input of energy approaching the infinite. Fortunately, there cannot be too many men in this game, and no one will cry “foul” if we clip a few of the Senators standing between us and our goal of establishing democracy in America.

The effort to foist the public option form of sham reform was designed by Democratic “leaders” who rejected out of hand the idea of signaling to the corporate puppet masters in the medical insurance, pharmaceutical and corporate medical care industries that progressives in the Congress are no longer going to accept having the terms of legislation dictated to them by lobbyists. Howard Dean, founder of democracy For America, seems to be unduly complacent about the prospect of the loss of democracy in America that will surely result if we do not stand together against the corporatists now, before they achieve total domination of US domestic and foreign policy.

Dean was instrumental in presenting a “mass movement” for the doomed public option through his claim that members of Democracy For America supported it, without asking us. Faced by hundreds of single payer supporters in Pittsburgh at the NetRoots convention, he calmly described it as “a mistake” to have strangled single payer in the cradle in order to achieve victory in “reforming” our non-system of medical care delivery before the midterm elections.

I am not one to call another person a liar, but that was either a lie or the admission of stupidity of which I did not feel Dean capable. They were in this together with Move On, Organizing for America and the front group Health Care For America Now, which blatantly stole the name of PNHP’s sister organization, Health Care Now! I spoke to Marilyn Clemens about this before her death, but was unable to get this blatant manipulation publicized in order to clarify what appeared to have been yet another deliberate attempt to confuse a single payer system of health care with the oxymoronic concept of a “single payer option” in a multi-payer plan. Health care For America Now even had the audacity to steal the name and sell T-shirts calling for “Health Care Now!”

The Democratic Party has become a sham, the other side of the same coin minted by the corporatocracy, with Mussolini on the face and a burning flag on the other. There is no difference any longer between the actions of the Demicans and the Republicrats. They are distinguishable only by their tone, and the volume and shrillness of their voices. The real danger is that the more civilized appearing “statesmen” in the Democratic Party will more easily reassure the dreaming public that they are out to “reform” America and its politics, while they continue to systematically destroy democracy and the US and world economies.

The Senate is where the viewer should focus his or her attention. The corporate tools have grown so arrogant in their fawning over their puppet masters that they no longer feel the need to attempt to hide their crimes against the people. As this was written, there was a case pending in the Supreme Court to give money directly to senatorial candidates, rather than masking them through PAC intermediaries. As the more aware among our senators see the writing on the wall, they are giving into senseless hedonism in growing numbers. As Rome burns about them, they are diddling. Perhaps they are bored with screwing with us and seek false adulation elsewhere to bolster their flagging sense of potency, or perhaps they are sensing the end of their world, and enjoying the last gasps of the corporatocracy while they can.

The Soldiers For Peace are in place and are coming to Washington sooner than the enemy can prepare for us. Victory is almost at hand, for we do not have decades for the Democratic Party to reform itself, and the Republican Party clearly has no interest in doing so. The system of seniority ensures that Congress will not replace its leadership without a mass revolt of Party members. Only by embracing a third Party coalition of progressives can we defeat corporatism, restore democracy to America and save the world from the self-destruction some seem to welcome. Jesus is not going to come down on a great white horse and save us from our own complacency, fear and sloth. If you love what Christ stood for, then for Christ’s sake stop being tools of our lost leaders and get in the game now.

In the words of Billy Joel:

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye
Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye.

We didn't start the fire.
It was always burning
since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire.
No, we didn't light it
but we tried to fight it.

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiov
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn't start the fire.
It was always burning
since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire.
No, we didn't light it
but we tried to fight it.

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather, Homicide, Children of Thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn't start the fire.
It was always burning
since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire.
No, we didn't light it
but we tried to fight it.

Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatle mania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say.

We didn't start the fire.
It was always burning
since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire.
No, we didn't light it
but we tried to fight it.

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again,
moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock,
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline,
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan,
Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide,
foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law,
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore.

We didn't start the fire.
It was always burning since the world's been turning.
We didn't start the fire,
but when we are gone
it will still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

Rick Staggenborg, MD

Physicians for a National Health Plan

Portland, Oregon

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